Vespiquen has long been a Pokemon who has good moves and decent base stats, but thanks to its Bug / Flying typing, she’s too weak to hang out very long in competitive Pokemon. In particular, she’s one of the Pokemon that is basically invalidated by Stealth Rock, thanks to its 4x weakness, a problem since its debut. Further power creep since her debut in Diamond and Pearl hasn’t helped her retain any niche. She has tons of defensive weaknesses, but Generation 9 offers the benefit of a Tera Type. Will that be enough to save Vespiquen and give her some low-tier utility? Fortunately, the answer appears to be yes.
As one of the Pokemon you can acquire very early on in the Scarlet and Violet open world adventure, a female Combee can easily work her way into your team as she evolves into a Vespiquen at level 21. She offers a couple of very useful builds, one running dual hazards in Spikes and Toxic Spikes, along with Toxic, and U-Turn to both deal damage and switch to one of your offensive threats. This is the type of Vespiquen you’d probably run in Battle Stadium singles and this is a set that’s already been rarely used in Pokemon Showdown.
In doubles, she offers Defend Order to bulk up both of her defenses, while also running Roost for recovery, Air Slash for both same-type Attack bonus damage and the chance to flinch, and Power Gem as a Rock-type move for type coverage. Also, if you don’t mind spending the Tera Shards, a Rock Tera Type gives a 50 percent damage boost to Power Gem, and a Flying Tera Type boosts Air Slash. Both Rock and Flying remove some of Vespiquen’s major defensive drawbacks; Rock Tera Type is probably best as hazards now become a mere nuisance.
A third set you could run on Vespiquen is a Destiny Bond set. This set is best used in doubles, as you’ll want to run Pollen Puff for both healing your partner Pokemon and Helping Hand to boost your partner’s next attack. The fourth move on this set is likely Air Slash for the additional offensive coverage. For this set, Rock Tera Type is your best bet for boosting the bee queen’s defenses, using Destiny Bond as a last ditch effort to take out your opponent’s biggest threat.
A couple things you want to keep in mind with Vespiquen are her awful Speed (base 40) and modest attacking stats (80 in both Attack and Physical Attack). You’re typically playing Vespiquen for her ability to spread hazards and poison or stall with Roost and Defend Order. My favorite option is to run the more offensive Destiny Bond set, and its very existence can make clever opponents wary of knocking her out.
While there are many Pokemon who benefited from Terastalizing as a mechanic, Vespiquen really stands out as one to me that brings her out of untiered status in competitive Pokemon into at least a useful utility mon. I’m not going out of my way to build a competitive Vespiquen, but if I happen to catch a shiny Combee (that happens to be female) or Vespiquen, you can bet I’ll throw a Destiny Bond Vespiquen out on Battle Stadium sooner or later.
What do you think of Vespiquen? Do you believe a Rock or Flying Tera Type has finally given her a chance to succeed with a limited Pokedex?